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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 16, 2019 4:00am-4:31am BST

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hello there, good morning. there's more spring sunshine this is bbc news. the headlines: and more spring warmth on the way as we head towards the easter weekend. the weekend just gone was quite chilly, temperatures about 12. an easterly wind and the air coming welcome to bbc news, all the way from the baltic. firefighters say the main structure broadcasting to viewers of notre dame cathedral has survived but look what happens the massive fire that broke out. it in north america over the next few days. and around the globe. a lot of that blue, colder air gets is one of the world's best loved my name is mike embley. our top stories: pushed away and it really heats up landmarks. the wooden roof has been back under control after a major across central parts of europe and that is where we are going fire rips through notre dame to get our weather coming from. destroyed but officials say many cathedral in paris. a rtefa cts we will be developing this destroyed but officials say many artefacts have been rescued. south—easterly breeze and it will be these are the first pictures from inside where investigators warming up everywhere. mid—20s perhaps by saturday. firefighters say the blaze could be linked to ongoing restoration work. are trying to establish the severity of the damage to the structure these are the first pictures and its contents. of the devastation inside where officials are trying to establish the severity of the damage despite major efforts to the structure and its contents. to stop the blaze spreading, on monday, in the sunshine, president emmanuel macro and just a few hours it felt pleasant enough. has pledged to rebuild it after the fire began, we had temperatures here seeking international help. people were left shocked in london of 15 degrees. despite major efforts likewise in liverpool, merseyside. to fight the fire, people were left shocked the moment the spire collapsed. we've also had this cloud coming the moment the spire collapsed. in very slowly from the west it's feared the rose windows singing have been destroyed along with some which has been bringing with it paintings and other artefacts, patchy rain and drizzle. earlier on it was quite windy although many, including a crown as well in northern ireland of thorns and a medieval and here in cornwall, parisians try to raise each unseasonable weather. the winds are easing down royal tunic, are safe. and the rain is edging others‘ spirits with singing. its way further eastwards. 100 million euros are donated to president macron‘s plans to rebuild the cathedral. the clearer skies ahead of it are filling with cloud so it's frost free.
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temperatures five or six degrees. rain for northern ireland heading across to wales and the west country. the rain in the south petering out to a certain extent. the rain lighter and patchy in the afternoon heading into western scotland. firefighters say they have now got under control the fire that engulfed notre dame cathedral in paris. on monday evening, the smoke eastern scotland, eastern england likely to be dry, and flames could be seen blazing a lot of cloud around. from all over the city, best of the sunshine and the iconic steeple collapsed. towards the east coast the extent of the damage and north—eastern parts of scotland. may not be a bad as first feared, the winds won't be as strong but what is visible is bad enough. on tuesday but still an onshore breeze coming into eastern scotland, one firefighter is thought north—east england. to have been seriously injured. so a little bit on the chilly side here. president macron has vowed under the cloud, temperatures to rebuild the monument. typically ten or 13. a touch higher in the london our first report is from paris area if it brightens up. more especially for cornwall and devon where we should correspondent lucy williamson. see some sunshine. it was, said the president, more sunshine on the way on wednesday. a part of france that burned today, some mist and fog around a part that stood here early on across wales, west midlands and the south west. for 800 years, some patchy cloud developing through war, revolution and you could just squeeze out and religious unrest. a light shower through the east midlands towards the south—east of england. unlucky if you catch those. engulfed within an hour by flames. generally it is dry, more sunshine and more warmth its ancient towers, beacons as temperatures climb to 17 or 18.
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it's set to get warmer over for both residents and tourists, the coming few days as well. crumbling into the blaze. still high—pressure around scandinavia but we're drawing up our air from central parts of europe. not only is it warmer but it's also drier, as its current guardian so more sunshine around as well. watched through tears. a dry few days and temperatures translation: this is a national disaster, i'm very upset. rising everywhere. this cathedral is 850 years old and to see the building fall the peak of the temperatures will be to pieces, on saturday and it could get the spire to fall down 2a or 25. then starts to cool down a little bit and we may see some rain just as we were renovating it, arriving in the north—west. all i can do is pray. firefighters circled the cathedral to tackle the blaze. their cranes stretching to reach its soaring roof, a complicated and fragile operation. simply dousing the medieval structure with water was not an option, rescue experts said, because the building could collapse. to tackle the flames inside the building, firefighters had to climb up the towers. nothing else could reach. president macron arriving at the cathedral with france's prime minister,
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his face upturned in disbelief. translation: what has happened tonight in paris and notre dame is a terrible event. i want to first think the firefighters, 500 of whom have battled the flames for several hours and will keep doing so for several more and maybe for several days. the flames are slowly beginning to subside now, but the damage is just beginning to reveal itself. the destruction of this mediaeval symbol of paris has left the city under a pall of shock and smoke. people packed into the streets around, barely spoke, just watched. those who found the words for their impressions, one after the other, all said the same. translation: this is awful, it's terribly sad. it's terrifying. the fire is uncontrollable. i've been here for one hour
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and there's nothing we can do. the deputy mayor of paris confirmed the fire had started on the roof and quickly spread. the cause isn't clear. police have begun an investigation. but some have questioned whether extensive renovation work currently under way here might have sparked this massive blaze. the task now is to assess the destruction inside the building. its woodwork dating from the 13th century, its statues destroyed once before by revolutionaries two centuries ago. many things are said to be irreplaceable — great art, cultural heritage, symbols of protection and hope. what words should we use when it is all of these? lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. let's grow life to paris. kevin has been reporting for hours. it is five o'clock in the morning. i appreciate
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you and your crew still being there. it seems the interior is not totally destroyed and many artefacts were rescued. i think that seems to be right. if we take a second to step back from this now and look at the building itself. two hours ago firefighters were still very hard at work, pouring water into the building, they were still —— there was still a shroud of steam over it. that has settled down. there are firefighters but their work is investigative, trying to establish the cause of the fire. they are trying to assess the structure or state of the building. in very broad terms at this stage we can say the stone structure of the building appears to be substantially intact and it is around the framework that the stone structure, this great national work of reconstruction that
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president emmanuel macron has already been talking about, that is where that will start. it has huge religious significance, but in your reports earlier you gave some striking examples of the breadth of history that this place encompasses. it is extraordinary. it is 850 years old, one of the glories of mediaeval civilisation in many ways. it took nearly 200 years to build. it was an extraordinary scale of project in those days, and in the intervening centuries, it has woven itself into the life of france. this is where joan of arc was beatified, it is where napoleon was installed as emperor and when he was installed as emperor, the building was already 500 yea rs emperor, the building was already 500 years old. it is where things we re 500 years old. it is where things were given for the life of president a goal, the wartime president of france, the man who led france
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through the liberation through nazi germany. at every one of those moments in the national life, notre dame has been front and centre. a kind of reference point. every town and village in france has a market telling you —— marker telling you how far you are from paris, and that is calibrated to notre dame cathedral. it is notjust the religious significance and historical significance. it is a symbol of france and french nurse. it is for that reason there will be tremendous energy in this effort at reconstruction which emanuel macron launched while the fires were still burning here —— frenchness. kevin, thank you so much. let's take a look back at the cultural significance of notre dame. it has survived the french revolution and two world wars. it has towered over paris since the 13th century. work began in the 12th century. notre dame sits in the very heart of paris on the ile de la cite,
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an island in the middle of the river seine. the fire is believed to have started shortly before 7pm local time shortly after the structure closed to the public. horrified crowds gathered along the banks of the river to watch their much—loved cathedral landmark burn. many serenading the burning notre dame. fergal keane looks now at what notre dame means to france and its people. in paris, the most desolate of skies, smoke and ruin and history billowing into the air. fire crews from across paris have come here to save whatever they possibly can, and the striking thing, standing among the crowds on the banks of the seine, isjust the silence, the quiet of people stunned by the destruction of notjust a great french cultural artefact, but of one that belonged to the world. notre dame de paris offered an image of france that seemed eternal, even if the age of kings and emperors and powerful cardinals had long past. it was built more than 800 years ago
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when kings ruled by divine right, and grand and great cathedrals of stone and stained glass were designed to reach for the sublime. so, this is an absolutely cultural disaster, for all of us, actually, notjust the french, but also of european significance. paris had been the sort of hot cauldron of gothic architecture from the 11th and 12th centuries, and it had influenced a whole lot of buildings in england, including westminster abbey, and all our subsequent cathedrals. notre dame survived europe's devastating wars of religion, and the age of revolution. it was a theatre of hubris. napoleon was crowned emperor here by the pope. at the end of world war ii, the bells of notre dame pealed the hour of liberation. its glories are a source of pride for the people of the city. translation: i speak to your english audience to share my immense sorrow, my immense pain
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in front of this catastrophe that has befallen notre dame. i have lived here for more than 30 years, my three children were baptised here. what the germans did not destroy was ruined by stupid fire. archive: higher and higher it goes, reaching up... the fear of a devastating fire was always present. this is the mid 1930s, when the paris fire service drilled for such an eventuality, but it was a renovation in the modern age that proved catastrophic. these statues were moved for protection just last week. tonight, paris feels like a city that is mourning the loss of an essential part of itself. fergal keane, bbc news, paris. i spoke to the renowned historian sir simon schama a short time ago, and i asked him what his reaction was to the pictures we were all seeing. well, you know, tragic mutilation, really. i mean, your correspondent was quite right.
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i mean, it's a huge hole ripped out of a common possession that humanity has, really. what's extraordinary, i think, is this intense instinctive emotional outpouring — people feel about paris and, therefore, one of the great symbols in the middle of paris. we live, after all, in a kind of universe of instagram, of kind of disposable images and short attention span, and something which really has concrete endurance to turn out to be perishable rather than imperishable is kind of a collective shared trauma. that said, of course, actually, there was a terrible fire that occurred in york minster, in 1984. it was rebuilt. its masonry structure was not destroyed, and the more optimistic reports out of paris suggest that an almost miraculous amount
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of the masonry structure still survive, the towers, the beautiful web and rayonnant vaulting inside. so, a very moving speech by emmanuel macron, which insisted "nous la rebatirons" — we will rebuild. that will happen. and the old lady, i mean, it's seen a lot. it's gone through many, many personae, really. it was classicised in the interior in the 18th century. it was then massively restored and very well done by viollet—le—duc, the architect, and his colleague lassus, in the 19th century. but all of that, even though one knows that the spire was entirely a 19th—century spire — the old one was taken down in the last years of the reign of louis xvi — doesn't really lessen this sense of a death, of a kind of a spiritual, social and communal death that has really happened
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and we certainly didn't expect it. our correspondent, kevin, who you were referring to, to help us sort of take on the scale of the history that building encompasses, pointed out that when napoleon was consecrated as emperor there, it was already 500 years old. can you help us understand how significant the parts of the building are that have been destroyed, how significant the parts are that have survived? i think the huge question mark is over the glass. there are three beautiful glass rose windows. one immediately above the main door of the west facade. but that window, in fact, while beautiful, has no mediaeval glass in it whatsoever, actually. so, that can be restored pretty much as it was. the two windows in the transept, the crossing, north and south, are the ones which have a mix of mediaeval and 19th—century glass, particularly the north transept, which has a lot of mediaeval glass.
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and the windows, even if — actually the glass themselves are a mixture of mediaeval and modern, they were designed in the gothic period, in the 100 years between the middle of the 12th century and the middle of the 13th century. so they feel absolutely part of the original design of spiritual lights, really. we do not really have any — at least i certainly don't — have any clear reports about how much is intact and how much has gone. it's not to be assumed that everything in those great windows is gone. again, it's not the same thing, but there was an enormous window in york minster, which shattered under the force of the heat, but actually did not melt and, again, could be restored. if you go into notre dame, it always looks slightly dark and sombre, enormous vaulted space,
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the beautiful kind of rib vaulting, which was the kind of exquisite exercise in gothic uplift, in the 12th and 13th century, that looks as though it's survived really, really well. and the rayonnant, the more flamboyant decoration of the next generation on, that also seems to have not suffered unduly. so the basic sense, once the rebuilding has happened, of being kind of engulfed by this dark and beautiful medieval space with light coming through the windows, once they are repaired or restored or redone, that, ithink, probably will probably come back to us. just a final brief thought, simon. it does seem a dangerous business, restoration of ancient buildings. you mentioned york minster, also of course windsor castle, glasgow school of art, alexandra palace... yes, that's right. look, it is in the nature. and you forgot the isis destruction of palmyra, which was egregious and horrifying blow to the common patrimony of humanity.
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but this is what we humans are like. we humans really are capable really of causing these terrible meltdowns and incinerations and explosions, but we humans are also capable of creating enduring, sublimely beautiful works of art and architecture, and the better side of our nature will reassert itself in rebuilding this beautiful church. sir simon schama there. it was talking about things that may have been saved. the archbishop said that among the artefacts that were saved, whether crown of thorns, louis's tunic, some chalices but it was impossible to take down the big paintings. stay with us on bbc news. still to come: in its former glory,
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we'll have more on the historic significance of notre dame cathedral for the french people. pol pot, one of the century's greatest mass murderers, is reported to have died of natural causes. he and the khmer rouge movement he led were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million cambodians. there have been violent protests in indonesia, where playboy has gone on sale for the first time. traditionalist muslim leaders have expressed disgust. the magazine's offices have been attacked and its editorial staff have gone into hiding. it was clear that paula's only contest was with the clock, and as for her sporting legacy, paula radcliffe's competitors will be chasing her new world best time for years to come. quite quietly, but quicker and quicker, she seemed just
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to slide away under the surface and disappear. this is bbc world news. the latest headlines: back under control — after one of the world's most famous landmarks — notre dame cathedral in paris — has been engulfed by fire. firefighters say the blaze could be linked to ongoing restoration work. despite major efforts to fight the fire and just a few hours after it began, people were left shocked the moment the spire collapsed. there are fears for the rose windows, paintings and other artefacts, although some, including a crown of thorns and a medieval royal tunic, are safe. political and religious leaders have been giving their response to the events in paris. german chancellor angela merkel said: i am deeply saddened to follow the events
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in paris and see the horrible images of notre dame in flames. notre dame is a symbol of france and our european british prime minister theresa may tweeted: president trump gave this response: a from the vatican said: officials at westminster abbey here in the uk — tweeted:
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president emmanuel macron was supposed to be addressing the nation on the constant protests by the yellow vest movement. instead he cancelled that and went to see the devastation for himself. translation: what has happened tonight in paris and notre dame, is a terrible event. i want to first think the firefighters. 500 of whom have battled the flames for several hours and will keep doing so for several more and maybe for several days. they fought the blaze with extreme courage, professionalism and determination. and i want to convey thanks of an entire nation.
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thanks to their work, including support by the city of paris, and officials from notre dame, the worst has been avoided. even if the battle is not entirely won. earlier i got the thoughts of michael t davies, chair of architectural studies at mount hollyoke college in massachusetts. this is certainly an occasion that is just stunning, is unbelievable. a catastrophe that i think everyone, colleagues in paris and colleagues around the us, are really having a hard time processing right now. you must have been thinking a lot about it watching the pictures in the past few hours. what is the significance of notre dame to you? certainly to mediaeval architectural historians,
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it's a building which one can watch, literally, the development and maturation of gothic architecture. one of the first full reflections or examples of a building that was monumentally large and breathtakingly tall but also transcendentally light. it was just a tour de force in terms of its aesthetic achievement but also its technical daring. it was also perhaps the first building that really took advantage of the potential of the flying buttress to achieve both height and lightness. beyond that, i think notre dame has become really synonymous, a kind of exemplar and icon of gothic architecture itself. one commentator i was reading said quite apart from its religious significance, quite apart
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from the people and things it commemorates, the fingerprints of its creators are in it from centuries ago. there is history, he said, carved and layered deep into buildings such as this one and there are not that many buildings such as this one. quite so, quite so. i mean, one literally has preserved the chisel marks from 12th century craftsman and sculptors that are recorded in the building. one of the great tragedies of today's fire is that arguably the roof structure was the most original part of the building. that this is a structure and really one of the few that has survived more or less intact from the middle ages that has been preserved. it was a real monument although not certainly on public view, it was a real monument
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to the craft of carpentry and the skill of mediaeval builders. and although clearly the spire collapsed and the wooden roof burned, it seems that the stone of the vaulted interior may have protected the contents. can you tell us more about the contents? well yes, that's one of the miracles, i suppose, the few bright points in today's events, is that the vaults, the masonry ceiling of the building, did not collapse. but within notre dame one has a real museum of art spanning from the 13th century and stained glass through one of the very few ensembles of the 14th century sculpture to survive today. in the choir enclosure, the treasury, shelters such relics as the crown of thorns and the tunic of louis ix, saint louis. and there is an incredible collection of paintings that decorate the chapels and interior, many of which were donated in the 17th century by the guild
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of goldsmiths as pious offerings to notre dame. let's look back at some of the images of the day.
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